Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Great Post on Caged-Calvinists

I want to point you to a great post from brother William Birch on caged Calvinists.  I first heard of  the term “caged Calvinists” from Dr. James White in which he was referring to Calvinists who are new to Calvinism and seem bent on making everyone around them into Calvinists as well.  These Calvinists are not hard to find.  Just go onto Twitter and put something negative about Calvinism with a hashtag of Calvinism and within minutes you’ll likely have caught your first caged Calvinist.  Caged Calvinists believe the gospel equals Calvinism and Calvinism equals the gospel.  They believe that Calvinism is the pure truth of God’s Word, orthodoxy, and the standard by which to judge all things.  I have seen some caged Calvinists lifting John Calvin to almost Catholic sainthood position as they speak of this fallen man as if he were the greatest single theologian since Paul the Apostle (and in some cases, better!).

Ironically, we in Arminianism have no caged Arminian tags that I am aware of.  I have never met a caged Arminian.  I would argue this is the case for a few reasons.  First, I know of no Arminians who believe that Arminianism equals the gospel or that the gospel equals Arminianism.  We believe that God has granted to us all the gift of free will and each person can decide if Arminianism or Calvinism or Lutheranism or any other ism is from God or not.  Ism’s do not save in Arminianism, only Jesus saves (John 14:6)!  This emphasis on free will leads us to reject the idea that God had to “open our eyes” to see the teachings of Arminius.  Any soul can read Arminius if they choose and either receive him or reject him.  In reality, we believe one can freely reject Arminius and still be saved but one cannot reject Jesus and still be saved.

Secondly, Arminians don’t know of a caged stage because we reject the Gnostic feel of some Calvinists regarding their “conversion” to Calvinism.  Arminianism has no such stage.  One does not need to read Arminius to understand unlimited atonement (1 John 2:2).  One does not need to read Arminius to understand conditional election (1 Timothy 4:10).  One does not need to read Arminius to understand the warning passages of Scripture and that faith is required for salvation from beginning to end (John 8:51; Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:21-23).  One does not need God to open their eyes to the five points of the Remonstrance for them to embrace Arminianism.  In fact, one can take a survey to find out if they are Arminian or not here.

Lastly, Arminians don’t champion Arminianism or the works of Arminius as the grid by which we judge all things.  We don’t come to John 3:16 or 1 Timothy 2:4 and then turn around and deny these passages because they don’t fit our theological system.  Again, one can read the Bible on their own and see that Calvinism is not there but must be read into the Bible.  I would not assume you would read the Bible and find Arminianism either but rather I would pray that you see Jesus for who He is.  After all, the Bible was not given to us so that we can know facts about Jesus or facts about Arminianism but instead to know salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (John 20:31).

I pray that we all see that the gospel is what saves and not a system.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/10/2013 at 12:11 PM

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